Conservation at Work

Who We Are

The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to tackle a serious decline in heather moorland, dating back to the Second World War.

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What We Do

Grouse shooting on 175 estates in England and Wales plays an important part in the rural economy during a season running from August – the Glorious Twelfth – until December 10.

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How We Do It

Forging close ties with influential bodies allows us to foster a greater understanding of the widespread needs and issues surrounding both our moorlands and grouse shooting.

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Moorland Association members are passionate in their care for 860,000 acres of heather moorland in England and Wales for wild red grouse, spending £52. 5 million a year on these iconic, fragile landscapes.

Rarer than rainforest, the UK has 75 per cent of what is left of the globally recognised expanses, treasured by millions of walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

More than 60 per cent of England’s upland Sites of Special Scientific Interest are moors managed for grouse shooting. Over forty per cent are also designated under European habitats and bird directives for their rare and remarkable vegetation and ground-nesting bird populations.

The purple cloaked treasures are at the heart of our most precious landscapes in the country’s prized National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Heather coverage UK

Heather Coverage in UK

Shooting provides essential income for the protection of this remarkable land and is responsible for over 1,500 jobs in the heart of the countryside. Even during the most successful seasons, shooting usually stops well before the official end on December 10 and every day is a bonus for the local economy.

Because of the significant costs involved in year round management, running a grouse moor does not often make money, but the effects of such extensive conservation are felt across the vast, much-loved moorland wilds.

Careful land management through the skill and dedication of game keepers has seen significant gains for some of the country’s most endangered ground-nesting birds. It has also led to the successful breeding of hen harriers, Britain’s most talked about birds of prey.

We are committed to a raft of measures which maintain the exceptional habitats of unique birds, plants and animals and safeguard peat for carbon storage and water quality.

Without this work, the precious land would revert to scrub and forest and the heather moors lost forever.


Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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Eighty one bird species on grouse moors SCOTLAND’S shooting estates are supporting a “vast range” of bird species, according to a study of three prominent grouse moors. A total of 81 species have been found breeding or feeding on land managed by gamekeepers, with some birds that are in decline elsewhere apparently making a comeback on heather moorland. The birds identified include golden […]

More support pledged for birds of prey LEADING land management and conservation organisations are stepping up their efforts to boost bird of prey populations following disappointing results from the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative. The five-year project aimed to increase the breeding populations and breeding success of raptors in the Dark Peak and surrounding areas but the targets agreed by the […]